Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The 44s - Boogie Disease
I didn’t know what it was. My extremities moved uncontrollably. My ears rang. My eyes rolled back in their sockets and my head tilted upward. My shoulders bounced from side to side and I would mouth words but nothing would come out. I was sick and it was incurable.
I remember the day I caught this damn bug. I was sitting with three friends in a circle around an old turntable that could play 45 and 78’s in an old stucco house in downtown San Pedro, California. The turntable folded up into itself to form a handled lock case about the size of a hat box. Below the turntable was a built-in, treble heavy, blown 5 inch speaker from which the crackled sound emanated,
My grandfather had just given me his collection of old 45 and 78 singles he had acquired from the 1920’s through the early 1960’s. It was music I had never heard. It didn’t get airplay on the major commercial L.A. radio stations. I threw on one of the old 78’s - “Hootchie Coochie Man” performed by Muddy Waters and written by Willie Dixon. Suddenly, I had the illness.
When I first heard The 44s’ new release Boogie Disease I had a significant relapse and still have not recovered. Nor do I want to. This is a sickness with which I can happily live
The 44s are a Southern California blues band on the new independent Rip-Cat label. The band features a hot down and dirty blues singer and able guitarist, Johnny Main; a ripping blues harpist in Tex Nakamura; a dirty bump stand-up bass from Mike Turturro; and a very talented J. R. Lozano on drums. Blues guitarist extraordinaire Kid Ramos joins the band on four tracks to produce one of the hottest electric blues albums I have heard this year.
Boogie Disease contains nine tracks or, if you look at it another way, nine disease transmitters. Included among great original tunes by the band and Kid Ramos are inspired interpretations of blues classics - harmonica legend Lester Butler’s “So Low Down” and “Goin’ To The Church;” Willie Dixon’s “Take It Easy;” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Commit A Crime;” blues piano legend Willie Love’s “Automatic;” and mouth organ legend William Clarke’s lip-smacking masterpiece “Blowin’ Like Hell.”
If you don’t already have the Boogie Disease this release will give it to you. If you are a fan of the roots music of rock ‘n’ roll you will definitely want to get this one. Being sick has never meant feeling so good.
- Old School
buy here: Boogie Disease